- Singularity is almost invariably a clue. The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the more difficult is it to bring it home.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘The Boscombe Valley Mystery’
- It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.
Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘A Case of Identity’
- Data! data! data!…I can't make bricks without clay.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘The Adventure of the Copper Beeches’
- It is my belief, Watson, founded upon my experience, that the lowest and vilest alleys in London do not present a more dreadful record of sin than does the smiling and beautiful countryside.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘The Copper Beeches’
- A man should keep his little brain attic stocked with all the furniture that he is likely to use, and the rest he can put away in the lumber room of his library, where he can get it if he wants it.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘The Five Orange Pips’
- It is quite a three-pipe problem, and I beg that you won't speak to me for fifty minutes.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘The Red-Headed League’
- You see, but you do not observe.
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes (1892) ‘A Scandal in Bohemia’
- The giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.
The Case-Book of Sherlock Homes (1927) ‘The Sussex Vampire’
- Good old Watson! You are the one fixed point in a changing age.
His Last Bow (1917) title story
- You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘The Crooked Man’
- ‘Excellent,’ I cried. ‘Elementary,’ said he.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes
(1894) ‘The Crooked Man’; see Doyle
- Ex-Professor Moriarty of mathematical celebrity…is the Napoleon of crime, Watson.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘The Final Problem’
- ‘Is there any other point to which you would wish to draw my attention?’
‘To the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.’
‘The dog did nothing in the night-time.’
‘That was the curious incident,’ remarked Sherlock Holmes.
The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894) ‘Silver Blaze’
- What one man can invent another can discover.
The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905) ‘The Dancing Men’
- Detection is, or ought to be, an exact science, and should be treated in the same cold and unemotional manner. You have attempted to tinge it with romanticism, which produces much the same effect as if you worked a love-story or an elopement into the fifth proposition of Euclid.
The Sign of Four (1890) ch. 1
- How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth?
The Sign of Four (1890) ch. 6
- You know my methods. Apply them.
The Sign of Four (1890) ch. 6
- It is the unofficial force—the Baker Street irregulars.
The Sign of Four (1890) ch. 8
- London, that great cesspool into which all the loungers and idlers of the Empire are irresistibly drained.
A Study in Scarlet (1888) ch. 1
- Now that I do know it, I shall do my best to forget it.
A Study in Scarlet (1887) ch. 2
- It is a capital mistake to theorize before you have all the evidence. It biases the judgement.
A Study in Scarlet (1888) ch. 3
- Where there is no imagination there is no horror.
A Study in Scarlet (1888) ch. 5
- From the astrologer came the astronomer, from the alchemist the chemist, from the mesmerist the experimental psychologist. The quack of yesterday is the professor of tomorrow.
Tales of Terror and Mystery (1922)
- Mediocrity knows nothing higher than itself, but talent instantly recognizes genius.
The Valley of Fear (1915) ch. 1
- Elementary, my dear Watson, elementary.
remark attributed to Sherlock Holmes, but not found in this form in any book by Arthur Conan Doyle, first found in P.G. Wodehouse Psmith Journalist
(1915); see Doyle